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The Penn English Program in London for 2018-2019

Welcome to the Penn English Program in London (PEPL). I'm looking forward to meeting up with you in mid-September. If you are planning to arrive earlier to explore London or the United Kingdom, let me know, since I will be in London starting in early September. You'll be living in a terrific, global city and you'll be arriving at a time when most of the summer crowds will be gone. This is a city with more than seven million residents speaking 300 languages, making it an ideal place to study most of the world's literatures. Nearly everywhere you go -- from the East End to Richmond, from Camden Town to Brixton, from Hampstead Heath to Clapham Common -- you'll find literary and cultural history looking back at you. You can walk the novels you'll be reading, visiting the same neighborhoods the characters do. You can visit the sites of Renaissance theaters by day and see modern performances by night. And, if you wish, you can work in superb archives and libraries. 

We are fortunate to have Shona Adler, a Ph.D. student in English at Penn, as part of our PEPL group. Shona and I will lead you on excursions both in London and outside of it. We have already planned several outings, beginning with panoramic views from the London Eye, a walk along the Thames, and tea at Tate Modern. We’ll also take a trip to Brighton and its famous Royal pavilion, and make a visit to Cambridge for a college visit and evensong at the world-famous King’s College chapel. We’ll have a Sunday brunch at the Wallace collection and likely a day trip to Bath (Jane Austen country). In addition to these trips, you will be visiting museums, cinemas, historic houses, parks, and art galleries throughout the semester.

A highlight of your semester will be the theater seminar we will take as a group. We have a rich menu of plays lined up; most Wednesday evenings will be spent in the superb theaters of London. On Thursdays we will meet in a classroom at King’s College where Sam Marlowe, a renowned drama critic, will lead us in discussions of these plays and performances. 

Shona and I are looking forward to this autumn immensely. 

Best wishes, David Wallace